The career mode featured in Need for Speed: Most Wanted is centered around the Blacklist, a list of the most wanted racers in Rockport. Additional vehicles, customisation items and boroughs are unlocked with a higher rank on the Blacklist.
The career mode starts with an opening cinematic showing the player's challenge race against the number 15 on the Blacklist. It ends with the player's car malfunctioning.
Six days prior to their challenge against Blacklist racer number 15, the player first arrives in Rockport in their BMW M3 GTR GT (E46). The player gets quickly noticed by an unknown woman in a Mazda RX-8, whom wants to race against the player through town. The player is later stopped by Sergeant Cross and his unnamed partner, after reaching Downtown Rockport, for illegal street racing and driving a non-street legal vehicle. Before the player could be apprehended, Cross and his partner are called in to respond to an ongoing pursuit, forcing them to let the player go.
Two days after the incident, the player becomes involved in the local street racing scene by challenging Ronnie in a sprint race. Upon defeat, Ronnie leads them to his crew leader Razor, the Blacklist racer number 15, who mocks the player for being a new arrival and for allegedly using "bolt-on" performance parts. The woman from two days ago - revealed as Mia - shows up again and sides with the player. Razor suggests the player to race against his accomplice Bull for 5,000 cash before being able to challenge him. Due to a demand by Mia to raise the prize higher, Razor calls in the police to give the player a greater challenge.
Two days after defeating Bull, the player encounters a group of street racers including Rog, and successfully defeats them in a circuit race. Being impressed by their driving skills, Rog gives the player advice on the racing scene and makes sure to stay in touch with them. After talking with Rog, the player is approached by Razor, who agrees to finally race against the player.
On the day of reckoning, the player races against Razor in a sprint race, but is later forced to abort the race due to an oil leak that seized up the engine. As a result, the player is forced to hand their car to Razor and is mocked even more by his crew. Adding insult to injury, the police became aware of their race and soon arrives on the scene. Having no means of escape, the player surrenders to the police and is arrested by Sergeant Cross.
The player is later released from police custody due to a lack of evidence and gets picked up by Mia. Whilst driving to her safehouse, she reveals to them the person behind the sabotage of their car, Razor. She also mentions to the player that Razor managed to defeat the entire Blacklist thanks to their recently lost car. To aid the player in getting into the Blacklist, Mia provides them her safehouse in Rosewood and a new car provided by a contact.
|Sprint||Financial & Shipyard||2.5 mi (4 km)||Defeat Ronnie||10,000|
|Sprint||Waterfront & Century||2.9 mi (4.6 km)||Defeat Bull||10,000|
|Circuit||Warrent Road||4.1 mi (6.6 km)||Defeat all rivals||10,000|
|Sprint||Riverfront & Marina||5.5 mi (8.9 km)||Defeat Razor||-|
The player must go through each Blacklist member before taking on Razor again. Blacklist members can be challenged in Rival Challenge events after accumulating a certain number of race wins, completed pursuit objectives (Milestones) and a higher bounty than their rival.
The player gets the choice of choosing two markers after defeating a rival. Markers include pursuit-related rewards, as well as new customisation items, with some being exclusive to marker unlocks.
After defeating Razor once and for all, the player has earned their car back. Unable to accept his defeat, Razor hesitates to return them the keys, forcing Mia to knock over Razor. As his crew rushes to help him, Mia shows them her police badge, revealing her undercover cop identity. Following that, an ambush of Rockport Police Department vehicles arrives that manages to arrest every Blacklist member but the player, whom was spared by Mia by getting their keys back.
Being frustrated by not being able to catch the player in time, Cross commands all Rockport Police Department units to pursue the player, issuing a heat condition 6 pursuit in the process. As the police know about all hiding spots and safehouses after catching the entire Blacklist, the player cannot evade the cops. After five minutes, however, they are called by Mia, who directs them to an incomplete bridge in Collegetown. The player escapes from the police and leaves Rockport forever after jumping over the bridge.
As a result of failing to catch the player again, the player is added to the National Most Wanted list by Cross and issued the "Most Wanted" title.
|Pursuit||Heat Level 6||Evade the RPD||Completion of Career Mode|
- Need for Speed: Most Wanted is the first title in the series to feature full motion video cutscenes.
|Need for Speed: Most Wanted|
|Single Player||Career Mode · Challenge Series · Quick Race|
|Gameplay||Achievements & Trophies · Cars · Events · Rockport · Cheats|
|Other||Black Edition · Patch History · Soundtrack · Cut Content|